journey2home is a socially engaged public art project that illuminates the challenges of housing insecurity for youth and engages the Philadelphia community in hearing their stories.
The goals of journey2home are: to destigmatize the pursuit of resources through social integration; to engage the larger community via workshops which address the stories and challenges of housing insecurity; and finally to attract media attention to the providers and young people so, hopefully, we can leverage policy pressure and create change.
journey2home began in late fall 2013 with a series of youth workshops which continued through fall 2014. Monthly events, held at the journey2home storefront (4119 Lancaster Ave.) showcase youth art and artists’ projects, and constitute a platform for conversation and dialogue around the issues. Now, at the corner of 42nd Street and Lancaster Avenue, a modified shipping container sits at the apex of a green space, acting as a metaphor for home and the location of four hands-on community art-making events as we move the project outside to increase accessibility.
The container will have a front porch, an information bulletin board and resource area, a storage area the workshop tables and a dining room area with table, chairs and bookshelves. The front door and back door, when open, create a transparent space with forming a bridge from Lancaster’s commercial corridor to the residential neighborhood on the Brown Street side. Across the street, two murals are being installed. The murals, designed by Ernel Martinez and Shira Walinsky, contain text and images from workshop participants.
The project is led by: artists Ernel Martinez, Shira Walinsky and Jared Wood; project manager Shari Hersh; teaching artist and facilitator Michael O’Bryan; Dr. Carolyn Cannuscio and her team at the University of Pennsylvania; journalist and radio producer Elizabeth Perez-Luna, and WHYY. Upcoming projects include work by photographer Nema Etebar and videographer John Kauffman.
Be a part of the project: at each of our four summer events, contribute to an ongoing installation exploring the struggles of homeless youths in Philadelphia today.
July 11, 4:30-7 pm: Putting Tools in Our Tool Kit. Create, silkscreen, and stuff emergency care pouches for local youths.
Aug. 8, 4:30-7 pm: Speaking with Signs. Blending the history of political slogans and poetic use of language (also stencils, markers, and poster paint), make a dynamic sign that adds to the conversations on safety, housing insecurity, and economic opportunity.
Sept. 12, 4:30-7 pm: Making Our Way Home. Craft unique origami cranes on paper you design. Take them home or donate them to a journey2home installation! Featuring: the premier of the journey2home documentary by filmmaker Jon Kaufman.
Oct. 10, 4-6:30 pm: Turning Anger into Gold. The journey2home murals are dedicated! Join in the culmination of this project and help install cranes and signs from previous events into an artwork signifying the financial, emotional, and structural barriers that more than 2,500 young people in Philadelphia face today.
Workshops include participants from: The Attic, The Bridge, E3 West, Pathways, PEC, Red Shield Family, Women Against Abuse, YESinc, YESPhilly.
Project production includes participants from: PPS, YVRP, and The Restorative Justice Guild program.
Images of mural painting and storage unit production: